Meteor explodes over Russia

Surprise: No one saw it coming

By Janet Raloff, 13:52 PM February 18, 2013


This streak of light shows the meteor’s entry into Earth’s atmosphere. The image was captured by a European weather satellite. Credit: EUMETSAT



Mother Nature provided a surprise light show over Russia early on February 14. That’s when a major meteor entered Earth’s atmosphere. The object was originally 17 meters (55 feet) in diameter. That’s as wide as a 5-story building is high. It had also weighed a whopping 10,000 metric tons, according to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).


The meteor was traveling about 65,000 kilometers (40,000 miles) per hour. It created a brilliant streak as it traveled across the sky...

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